In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
The Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people, but He takes it away by the death of the religious scholars till none of the scholars remains alive. Then the people will take ignorant ones as their leaders, who, when asked to deliver religious verdicts, will issue them without knowledge, the result being that they will go astray and will lead others astray”. [Saheeh Al-Bukhari. Hadeeth Number 100]
Al-Haafidh Al-Qurtubiy [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated in Al-Mufhim, “This text (proves) that indeed the disappearance of knowledge will not be by way of its removal from the hearts (of the people); but (it will be) through the death of the scholars; (then) the ignorant people will remain- those who will occupy the place of the scholars in teaching and giving verdicts. They will teach and give verdicts based on ignorance, so ignorance will spread and become manifest”. So, if the sound Sunni knowledge is taken away, then acting upon it will be taken away; is that not the case? When ignorance manifests, acting upon it will become manifest, so both knowledge and acting upon (Knowledge) will disappear, ignorance will manifest and acting upon (ignorance) will become widespread just as Al-Haafidh Al-Qurtubiy clarified in Al-Mufhim. [Source: Al-Hajr Fee Daw-il Kitaab Was-Sunnah Wa Fahm Salaf Al-Ummah. page: 15-16 By Shaikh Abdullah Al-Bukhaaree]
Indeed, manifest is the ignorance and deviation of the one who claims that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] was democratically elected!
Firstly, what is democracy? It is said that the word democracy comes from the Greek words “demos”, meaning people, and “kratos” meaning power. So, democracy is considered to be “power of the people” and its proponents say that it is a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held elections. Therefore, we understand from this that in a democracy every sane adult is given a chance to be heard.
Indeed, this idea seems very appealing and attractive, but the Creator of the heavens and the earth legislated that humankind should return to the guidance of the Messengers [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them] in all affairs. Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: “And even though there is something in the paths of analogical reasoning and reflection that will lead to knowledge, however sometimes it cannot give detail explanation in a dispute between the people of the earth due to the minute details and ambiguities [in that dispute], and at other times due to the fact the people differ when prioritizing necessities. Therefore, due to this Allaah [The Most High] commanded [us] to return to the revelation in times of dispute. Allaah [The Most High] said:
كَانَ ٱلنَّاسُ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ فَبَعَثَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ لِيَحۡكُمَ بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِ فِيمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِۚ
Mankind were one community (i.e. upon Tawheed and Allaah’s Sharee’ah) and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed]. [Surah Al-Baqarah’ Aayah 213] Therefore, Allaah [The Most High] designated the revealed Books [i.e. the Qur’aan being the final of them] as the judge between the people in matters wherein they differ”. [An Excerpt From ‘Dar Ta’aarud Al-Aql Wan-Naql’. 9/17-18]
The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Banee Israa’eel used to be ruled and guided by prophets. Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! What do you order us (to do)?” He said, “Obey the one who will be given the pledge of allegiance first. Fulfil their (i.e. the Caliphs) rights, for Allah will ask them about (any shortcoming) in ruling those Allah has put under their guardianship.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree 3455]
“Banee Israa’eel used to be ruled and guided by prophets”. Imaam Ibn Hajr [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Whenever corruption appeared amongst them, Allaah sent them a Prophet to rectify their affairs and put an end to that which they changed in the rulings of the Torah”. [An Excerpt From ‘Fat’hul Baaree Sharh Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’. Vol 6. page 607. Publisher: Daarus Salaam. 1st Edition 1421AH (Year 2000)]
Indeed, this was what Allaah legislated for followers of the previous Prophets, but after the advent of Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], humankind have been commanded to follow his path and this is what the statement “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah” necessitates. It necessitates belief in everything he [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] has stated, obey him in everything he has commanded, keep away from everything he has forbidden and worship Allaah only based on what Allaah and Muhammad have legislated. To testify that Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is the Messenger of Allaah necessitates a testification regarding his Messengership. Allaah [The Exalted] said: [وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ – We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allah’s Permission]. [Surah An-Nisaa. Verse 64]
This is the purpose regarding which Allaah sent the Messengers, to be obeyed. It is not enough to say, “I testify that Muhammad is a Messenger”, but rather this testification necessitates that one follows the one who has been sent, obey his command, keep away from what he has forbidden and believe in everything he has stated. This is the true establishment of the statement “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah”, because the Messenger brought three affairs- commands, prohibitions and news, so whoever testifies to Muhammad’s Messenger ship must believe in everything Muhammad has stated.
The testimony that Muhammad is Allaah’s Messenger necessitates that he is followed just as the testimony that “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah” this statement necessitates that one establishes pure Islamic monotheism and sincerely devotes all the religion to Allaah alone.
Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is a Messenger of Allaah and a Messenger’s most important task is to convey the words of Allaah. Allaah said: [وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ – The Messenger’s duty is only to convey (the message)]. [Surah An-Noor. Aayah 54]
Indeed, the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] did convey the message clearly. There is no good except that he has guided the Ummah to it and there is no evil except that he warned the Ummah against it. Therefore, whoever testifies that “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah” must submit to everything Muhammad has conveyed. Allaah said: [وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا – And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)]. [Surah Al-Hashr. Verse 7]
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. [Surah An-Nisaa. Aayah 65]
Allaah [The Exalted] said: [وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ – It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision]. [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Verse 36]
So, the Messenger must be obeyed in what he has commanded and whoever obeys him has obeyed Allaah. Allaah [The Exalted] said: [مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ – He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allah]. [Surah An-Nisaa. Verse 80]
Allaah [The Exalted] said: [قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ – Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you”]. [Surah Aal Imraan. Verse 31]
The scholars refer to this verse [i.e. Verse 31, Surah Aal Imraan] as the verse that puts a person to trial regarding his (or her) claim, so whoever claims that he loves Allaah, then let him put himself to trial based on what will manifest evidence regarding his truthfulness in this matter. (1)
Question: How Do We Approach Our Customs When Striving to Follow The Sunnah?
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “It is obligated on every Muslim that he does not depend on custom; rather he presents it to the pure Islamic legislation (to be judged), so whatever the Islamic legislation affirms is permissible and whatever it does not affirm is impermissible. The customs of the people are not proof to determine the lawfulness of anything. All the customs of the people in their countries or tribes must be presented to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] for judgement, so whatever Allaah and His Messenger made permissible is permissible, and whatever they forbid, then it is obligatory to abandon it even if it is the custom of the people”. (2)
Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The customs cannot make something that is not legislated (in the divine revelation) as something legislated, because of Allaah’s statement: [وَلَيۡسَ ٱلۡبِرُّ بِأَن تَأۡتُواْ ٱلۡبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا – It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back] [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 189], despite the fact that it was something they took as their custom and considered it to be an act of righteousness. Whoever takes something as a custom and believes that it is an act of righteousness, then it should be presented to Allaah’s divine legislation [i.e. to be judged]”. (3)
Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] also said, “Extremism in related to customs is stringent adherence to old customs and not diverting to what is better than them. As for if the customs are equal in benefit [i.e. the ones judged to be permissible by the divine legislation], then a person remaining upon what he is upon would be better than going along with the new (or emerging) customs”. (4)
The Only Path to Salvation When Differing Occurs
The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] also stated in the hadeeth reported by Irbaad Bin Saariyah [may Allaah be pleased with him], “Verily, the one who lives amongst you will see a lot of differing, so adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Khulafaa Al-Mahdiyyeen Ar-Raashideen. Follow and adhere to it with your molars [ie. Strictly adhere to it], and beware of newly invented matters in the religion, because indeed every newly invented matters in the religion is an innovation in religion and every innovation in the religion is misguidance”. [Reported by Ahmad 17144. Abu Daawud 4608. Ibn Maajah 42]
Allaah [The Exalted] stated about the Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]:
[مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمۡ وَمَا غَوَىٰ-Your companion (Muhammad) has neither gone astray nor has erred]- Meaning, that is because the Daal [misguided person] is one whose knowledge is corrupted and the Ghaawiy [astray one] is the one whose intent is corrupted. Also, the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] described his four khulafaa [Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and Ali] with the words “Raashideen and Mahdiyyeen”, because the Raashid [i.e. The one who is steadfast upon the right path and is firmly established upon it] is the opposite of the Ghaawiy [The one who strays from the right path or conduct], and the Mahdee [The one guided to the path of truth and yeilds obediently to it] is the opposite of the Daalun [the misguided one, especially in knowledge and creed]. (5)
Obedience to The Messenger Leads to Sound Unity
Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ وَلَا تَنَـٰزَعُواْ فَتَفۡشَلُواْ وَتَذۡهَبَ رِيحُكُمۡۖ وَٱصۡبِرُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute [with one another] lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Saabireen [the patient ones, etc.]. [Surah Al-Anfaal. Verse 46]
[وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ – And obey Allah and His Messenger]- Meaning, obey Allaah and the Messenger in that which you have been commanded and adhere to this path in all circumstances. [وَلَا تَنَـٰزَعُواْ – and do not dispute (with one another)]-Meaning, do not dispute because it will cause your hearts to become disunited; [فَتَفۡشَلُواْ – lest you lose courage]; [وَتَذۡهَبَ رِيحُكُمۡۖ – and your strength depart]- Meaning, (If you do not obey Allaah and His Messenger, and you start disputing), your resolve will depart. You will lose your strength and the promise you have been given that you will be aided -due to obedience to Allaah and His Messenger- will be withdrawn. [وَٱصۡبِرُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ – and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Saabireen (the patient ones, etc.)]-Meaning, exercise patience in obedience to Allaah (and obedience to His Messenger), because indeed Allaah will aid you and give you victory. Fear your Lord and humble yourselves to Him. (6)
The Severe Consequences of Opposing The Sunnah of the Messenger
And Allaah (The Most High) said:
لَّا تَجۡعَلُواْ دُعَآءَ ٱلرَّسُولِ بَيۡنَڪُمۡ كَدُعَآءِ بَعۡضِكُم بَعۡضً۬اۚ قَدۡ يَعۡلَمُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنكُمۡ لِوَاذً۬اۚ فَلۡيَحۡذَرِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦۤ أَن تُصِيبَہُمۡ فِتۡنَةٌ أَوۡ يُصِيبَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
Make not the calling of the Messenger [Muhammad] among you as your calling of one another. Allah knows those of you who slip away under shelter [of some excuse without taking the permission to leave, from the Messenger]. And let those who oppose the Messenger’s [Muhammad] commandment [i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.] [among the sects] beware, lest some Fitnah befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them. [Surah An-Noor. Verse 63]
[فَلۡيَحۡذَرِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦۤ -And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah, orders, acts of worship, statements) beware]; [أَن تُصِيبَہُمۡ فِتۡنَةٌ – lest some Fitnah befall them]: Meaning: Lest misguidance, calamity in the worldly life or disbelief befall them.
[أَوۡ يُصِيبَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ – or a painful torment be inflicted on them]- Meaning, killed (by enemies) in the worldly life or punished in the hell fire in the afterlife. (7)
Imaam Ahmad [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said about this verse [i.e. Surah An-Noor. Verse 63], “Do you know what Al-Fitnah is? Al-Fitnah is Shirk. Perhaps if he (i.e. the person) rejects some of his (i.e. the Prophet’s) statements, then something of deviation enters his heart, so he is destroyed”. [Reported by Ibn Battah in Al-Ibaanah Al-Kubraa 97]
Narrated Abu Musa [may Allaah be pleased with him] that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “’My example, and the example of what I have been sent with is that of a man who came to some people and said, O people! I have seen the enemy’s army with my own eyes and I am a plain warner; so protect yourselves!’ Then a group of his people obeyed him and fled at night proceeding stealthily till they were safe, while another group of them disbelieved him and stayed at their places till morning when the army came upon them and killed and ruined them completely. So this is the example of that person who obeys me and follows that truth which I have brought (the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), and the example of the one who disobeys me and disbelieves the Truth I have brought”. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari. Vol 9. Number: 7283]
The Most Disobedient Person to The Messenger
Allaah (The Most High) said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allah and His Messenger, and fear Allah. Verily! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. [Surah al-Hujuraat. Verse 1]
[يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ – O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet…] [Surah Al-Hujuraat. Verse 2]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: When it is the case that Allaah forbade (them) from giving precedence to (themselves) over the Messenger, then which type of giving precedence to oneself over the Messenger can be more severe than giving precedence to one’s intellect over the revelation he was sent with? Many of the Salaf have stated (that this ayah means): ‘’Do not say anything (about the religion) until the messenger speaks and do not act until he commands you.’’
The most disobedient person amongst the people and the most severe with regards to giving precedence to him (or herself) over the Messenger is that one who gives precedence to his (or her) intellect or the intellect of another person over the revelation the Messenger was sent with. And when it is the case that Allaah has indeed forbidden them from raising their voices above the voice of the Messenger, then how about raising their intellects above the statements of the Messenger and the revelation he came with? (8)
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
In this great Soorah there are lofty benefits and rulings. The Muslims are greatly in need of understanding (it), being conscious of it and take benefit from it. In the first part, there is a warning against putting oneself forward before Allaah and His Messenger. And that which is obligated on the People of Eemaan is that they are to be followers and not innovators, and that they do not put themselves forward before Allaah and His Messenger.
The people of knowledge say (that this verse means), “Do not speak until you are commanded by Allaah and His Messenger, and do not act until the Messenger acts and legislates; do not put (yourselves) forward before him with either speech or action, (but) be followers of that which has been prescribed for you and that which has been made clear for you in the (Islamic) legislation”. This is the way the people of Eemaan are to be -they do not innovate acts of worship and rulings in Allaah’s Sharee’ah. [وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيم – And fear Allah. Verily! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing]- Meaning, Allaah hears their statements and nothing is hidden from Him with regards to your state of affairs. He hears the statements of the slaves and He knows their state of affairs. He knows the truth you utter and other than it. He knows what you do, the truth you utter and other than it. The meaning of (this is that): Be mindful of Him and be warned about (disobeying Him) because nothing is hidden from Him. He hears and He knows your state of affairs. Therefore, it is obligated on you to be followers, and not innovators in Allaah’s Sharee’ah. (9)
Therefore, that which has preceded above regarding the statement “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah” clearly manifests the extreme ignorance or corruption of the one who says that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] was democratically elected. What he should have stated is that a person is given the free will to believe or disbelieve after the advent of the final Messenger – those who believe, submit and follow the Messenger are guided and those who turn away are misguided. The Messenger is to be obeyed and obedience to him is unconditional, because obedience to him is obedience to Allaah. Abu Musa [may Allaah be pleased with him] reported that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “My example, and the example of what I have been sent with is that of a man who came to some people and said, O people! I have seen the enemy’s army with my own eyes and I am a plain warner; so protect yourselves!’ Then a group of his people obeyed him and fled at night proceeding stealthily till they were safe, while another group of them disbelieved him and stayed at their places till morning when the army came upon them and killed and ruined them completely. So this is the example of that person who obeys me and follows that truth which I have brought (the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), and the example of the one who disobeys me and disbelieves the Truth I have brought”. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari. Vol 9. Number: 7283]
Submission to Allaah’s Divine Law
Imaam Ash’Shaatibee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Know that Allaah has established this sharee’ah as a proof against the creation [i.e. mankind and jinn] – the old and young alike; the obedient and the disobedient; the righteous and the wicked. He did not specify the proof against anyone in exclusion of another one. Also all the other revealed laws were established as proof against all the other nations to whom they were revealed. The Sharee’ah is the judge- restrictedly and unrestrictedly; the [source of judgement] and the judge on all those who have reached the age of responsibility. It is the path attached to [what Allaah has ordained] and the Greatest Guide. And have you not seen the statement of Allaah [The Most High]:
وَكَذَٲلِكَ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ رُوحً۬ا مِّنۡ أَمۡرِنَاۚ مَا كُنتَ تَدۡرِى مَا ٱلۡكِتَـٰبُ وَلَا ٱلۡإِيمَـٰنُ وَلَـٰكِن جَعَلۡنَـٰهُ نُورً۬ا نَّہۡدِى بِهِۦ مَن نَّشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَاۚ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَہۡدِىٓ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬
And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad) Ruhan (an Inspiration, and a Mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’an) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will. And verily, you (O Muhammad) are indeed guiding (mankind) to the Straight Path (i.e. Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism).’’ [Soorah Ash-Shooraa. Ayah: 52]
He [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] was the first to be guided to the Book and Eemaan, and then those who followed him. The Book is the Guide and also the Sunnah which was sent down upon him explains that guidance [i.e. the Sunnah and the Qur’aan explain each other]. All the creation [i.e. mankind and Jinn] are guided by it.
Therefore, when this is the case, the Sharee’ah is worthy of being a decisive proof against them [i.e. against mankind and Jinn] and a beacon by way of which they are guided to the truth. Their nobility is established in accordance with how far they embrace its rulings- through acting upon them in speech, belief and deeds– and not merely due to the level of their intellects or their nobility amongst their people. That is because Allaah [The Most High] has determined nobility through Taqwa and no other than it. Allaah [The Most High] said:
[إِنَّ أَڪۡرَمَكُمۡ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتۡقَٮٰكُمۡۚ- Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa] [49:13]
The one who is the firmest [in his or her] adherence to the Sharee’ah is more worthy of honour and nobility, but it is not possible for the one below this [i.e. the one whose adherence to the Sharee’ah is below that of the one who is firmest in adhering to it] to reach the highest level of honour based on his adherence to the Sharee’ah. Therefore, honour is [measured] in accordance with one’s [level of adherence] to the Sharee’ah”. [Al-Itisaam 3/434 slightly paraphrased]
Rulership In Islam After The Death of The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]
Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him] said: After the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] died, there were differences of opinion about how the Muslims should be led and who should be given the leadership and authority. The Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) agreed that only the Qur’aan and Sunnah had the authority to tell the people what to do. They decided after looking into the Sunnah that Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) should be their leader – and that he would rule over them in accordance to the Qur’aan and Sunnah. So he was the first Caliph. The second Caliph, Umar Ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) was appointed by Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him). The third Caliph, ‘Uthmaan Ibn ‘Affaan (may Allah be pleased with him) was chosen by a committee of the major disciples of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who were appointed by ‘Umar before he passed away. The fourth Caliph, ‘Ali Ibn Abee Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) was appointed by the major Companions after the assassination of ‘Uthmaan. ‘Ali gave his pledge of allegiance to the previous three Caliphs and supported them fully. He even named his children after them. [ https://www.abukhadeejah.com/sunni-and-shiah-islam-islam-1-13/ ]
Seeking After Leadership is Not Allowed
Imaam Al-Bukhaari [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, ‘’Chapter: If somebody does not seek authority of ruling, then Allaah will surely help him [if he is given such authority].’’ Narrated Abdur-Rahmaan Bin Samura: The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘’O Abdur-Rahmaan! Do not seek to be a ruler, for if you are given authority on your demand, then you will be held responsible for it, but if you are given it without asking [for it], then you will be helped [by Allaah] in it. If you ever take an oath to do something and later on you find that something else is better, then you should expiate your oath and do what is better.’’ [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari, Number 7146]
Few Reminders From Fat-hul Baari: The one who seeks authority and receives it will not be helped. It is well known that to be in authority is accompanied by difficulties, so the one who does not receive help from Allaah will be trapped within it and thus loses both his Dunyah and Aakhirah. Therefore, the sensible person does not ask for authority, but if he is suitable and it is given to him without him asking for it, then indeed the truthful and trustworthy one [i.e. The Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wsallam)] has promised him that Allaah will help him. [An Excerpt: Chapter: (باب من لم يسأل الإمارة أعانه الله عليها )in ‘kitaab al Ahkaam’ Saheeh Al-Bukhaari with Fat-hul Baari]
Indeed, when a Muslim examines the above – the manner in which the Prophet’s companions selected rulers, the responsibility of rulers and subjects, the prohibition against desiring rulership and rebellion, then indeed he or she understands that chaos and strife occurs when Muslims abandon the guidance found in the Qur’aan, the authentic Sunnah and the understanding of the Prophet’s companions. People deliberately turn away from this reality or they are ignorant of it when offering their so called analysis of the political situation in Muslim countries and thus the reader is not able to differentiate between the actions of misguided Muslims and what Islaam commands in this subject matter. Therefore, rather than merely looking at what any Muslim does in a particular situation, one should look at what Islaam commands and prohibits. If writers, researchers and analysts fail to do so, then there is no doubt that either they are unable to do justice to the subject matter or have understood the affair in a manner contrary to its true reality or deliberately seeking to tarnish the image of Islam through so-called political analysis.
Guidance of The Pious Predecessors When Someone Takes Over Authority By Force
The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “I command you to have fear of Allaah, and to listen and obey even if a slave is placed in charge of authority over you…”
Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] said regarding the statement of the Prophet “Even if a slave is placed in charge of authority over you”, this is from an angle of giving an example – meaning the ruler is not belittled regardless who he is, even if he is a slave. As long as he is a leader of the Muslims, his personality is not belittled; rather his position and rulership is given consideration. As long as he has authority and the oath of allegiance has been given to him, then indeed it is obligatory to obey him [in good], even if he has mistakes…. [An Excerpt from Al-Mirhatur Rabbaaniyyah page 224]
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “It is obligatory to obey the leader even if he is not king. It is well known that the Muslim Ummah – since the early era – have had a Khaleefah and king, and there are leaders of countries. Therefore, if it is obligatory to obey a leader, then more so a king is to be obeyed”. [Sharh Arba’een. page 279]
Imaam Ibn Rajab [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The rulers and the leaders of the believers are to be obeyed and listened to [I.e. in good], whether he is a pious person or a wicked sinner, as well as whoever takes over the khilaafah and the people unite behind him and are pleased with him, and the one who overcome the people with the sword until he became the Khaleefah and is named leader of the Believers”. [Usool As-Sunnah. Riwaayatu Abdoos. Page 64]
The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Hear and obey the ruler in that which is difficult for you and in that which is easy for you, in times of invigoration and in times of dislike and weariness and when others are given preferential treatment over you – even if they take and consume your wealth and they beat your back – except that you do not obey them if it involves disobedience to Allāh.” [https://www.abukhadeejah.com/the-tyranny-of-the-rulers-a-reason-for-rebellion/ ] Also listen to lecture here by Shaikh Abu Iyaadh [may Allaah preserve him]: https://soundcloud.com/salafi-publications/principles-from-the-sunnah-regarding-dealing-with-the-muslim-rulers
Therefore, this is how the situation is deal with – obedience to the rulers and refraining from rebellion. We strive to obey our Lord in all circumstances whether the Muslims are ruled by one person or have different rulers in different lands. The infallible Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said: “The Khilaafah will last for 30 Years Then There Will Kingship Which Allaah Gives To Whomever He Pleases”. Read full article by Shaikh Abu Iyaadh [may Allaah preserve him] http://www.aqidah.com/creed/articles/kyvik-the-khilaafah-lasted-for-30-years-then-there-was-kingship.cfm
Siyaasah, Seperation Between The Affairs of The State and The Rulings of The Religion, Ruling By The Secular Laws and a Rebuttal Against The Khaarijites (Terrorists)
Siyaasah means to regulate the affairs of the citizens- rules related to behaviour and upright rectification. It has jurisdiction over the individual’s behaviour and the society as a whole. It involves Islamic jurisprudence by way of which the rulers are facilitated with knowledge and understanding of the rulings related to looking after the affairs of the state, its set-ups and Sharee’ah principles. [At-taleeq Alaa As-Siyaasah Ash-Shar’iyyah. Slightly paraphrased. Page 5 by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al Uthaymeen]
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: What is intended by ‘Separation between religion and Siyaasah’ is that the ruler can do what he wants based on what he thinks is a means of fulfilling (responsibilities related to) affairs of the state, whether it agrees with Sharee’ah or not; or even if what he does is based on the judgement of the religion, because the meaning of separation is to distinguish between two things and give them specific definitions. Therefore, in relation to this, the ruler looks at what he considers to be beneficial even if it opposes the Sharee’ah. There is no doubt that this is a false and sinful statement, because the religion itself is Siyaasah and Siyaasah itself is the religion, but what we mean by Siyaasah is the Siyaasah that is based on equity and not oppression. The religion of Islaam came to bring about wellbeing [and upright conduct] for the people in their behaviour towards their Lord and between themselves. It establishes the Rights of Allaah, rights for the people- rights for parents, relatives, wives and the Muslims – in general. And even for non-Muslims, Islam has given them rights that are well-known to the scholars. It laid down the means and conditions for war and peace making, punishments for crimes – some of which are determined by way of specific texts and some are left to the jurisdiction of the ruler, as well as other affairs which clearly shows that Islaam in its entirety is Siyaasah. The root of this word Siyaasah is Saa’is and that is the person who is responsible for looking after the affairs of animals – fulfilling that which brings them wellbeing and repelling that which will harm them. This is Siyaasah. We find this meaning when we contemplate on affairs of the religion, and that Allaah has legislated – for the servants – things without which humans will not be able to establish [a fruitful, stable, orderly, safe] life, and forbade them from things that will corrupt their state of affairs – either affecting everyone or specific individuals. Therefore, in reality the entire religion is Siyaasah. And we are certain that anyone who separates Siyaasah from the Religion and establishes Siyaasah based on what he sees fit and what he forbids, then indeed his Siyaasah is corrupt, and it will cause more harm than good. If it rectifies one affair based on his limited [or deficient] opinions, then indeed it greatly corrupts from another angle. So, this makes it incumbent that one contemplates on the state of affairs of those who base their Siyaasah on their desires and opinions, and became distanced from the religion of Islaam, you will find -after contemplating – that either all that Siyaasah is corrupt or most of it, and that if it rectifies an affair from one angle, it corrupts from another angle. So, based on this, separation between Siyaasah and Religion is a sinful deed and it is obligated on the one who seeks to rectify himself and others that he does so only based on the religion of Islaam. [https://binothaimeen.net/content/7366. Paraphrased]
Ruling By The Secular Laws and a Rebuttal Against The Khaarijites (Terrorists):
Imaam Abdul-Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “And whoever ruled by other than what Allaah has revealed then he will not be in other than one of four situations: The one who says, ‘I rule by this because it is superior to the Sharee’ah of Islaam’. Such a one is disbeliever in the sense of the major disbelief. The one who says, ‘I rule by this because it is like the Sharee’ah of Islaam, so ruling by it is permissible and ruling by the Sharee’ah is permissible’. Such a one is a disbeliever in the sense of the major disbelief. The one who says, ‘I rule by this and ruling by the Sharee’ah of Islaam is superior but ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed is permissible’. Such a one is a disbeliever in the sense of major disbelief. The one who says, ‘I rule by this’ while he believes that ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed is not permissible and who says that ‘the Sharee’ah of Islaam is superior and it is not permissible to ruler by other than it’ but he is neglectful, or treats matters lightly, or does this action due to a reason which proceeds from his rulers, then he is a disbeliever in the sense of minor disbelief which does not eject from the religion – and it is considered one of the greatest of major sins”. (10)
Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah believe that rebellion against the rulers is forbidden
The Meaning of Tāghūt and its Relation to Kufr [Disbelief] and Judging the Rulers to be Disbelievers
Behaviour of The Muslim Whilst Living In a Society Ruled By Secular Law:
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Likewise I invite you [i.e. Muslims] to have respect for those people who have the right that they should be respected, from those between you and whom there is an agreement (of protection) [i.e. Non-Muslims]. For the land which you are living is such that there is an agreement between you and them. If this were not the case they would have killed you or expelled you. So preserve this agreement, and do not prove treacherous to it, since treachery is a sign of the hypocrites, and it is not from the way of the Believers.
And know that it is authentically reported from the Prophet that he said : “Whoever kills one who is under an agreement of protection will not smell the fragrance of Paradise.”
Do not be fooled by those sayings of the foolish people : those who say : ‘Those people are Non-Muslims, so their wealth is lawful for us [i.e. to misappropriate or take by way of murder and killing].’ For by Allaah – this is a lie. A lie about Allaah’s Religion, and a lie in Islamic societies.
So we may not say that it is lawful to be treacherous towards people whom we have an agreement with. O my brothers. O youth. O Muslims. Be truthful in your buying and selling, and renting, and leasing, and in all mutual transactions. Because truthfulness is from the characteristics of the Believers, and Allaah – the Most High – has commanded truthfulness – in the saying of Allaah – the Most High – “O you who believe – fear and keep you duty to Allaah and be with the truthful”
And the Prophet encouraged truthfulness and said : “Adhere to truthfulness, because truthfulness leads to goodness, and goodness leads to Paradise; and a person will continue to be truthful, and strive to be truthful until he will be written down with Allaah as a truthful person“.
And he warned against falsehood, and said : “Beware of falsehood, because falsehood leads to wickedness, and wickedness leads to the Fire. And a person will continue lying, and striving to lie until he is written down with Allaah as a great liar.”
O my brother Muslims. O youth. Be true in your sayings with your brothers, and with those Non-Muslims whom you live along with – so that you will be inviters to the Religion of Islaam, by your actions and in reality. So how many people there are who first entered into Islaam because of the behaviour and manners of the Muslims, and their truthfulness, and their being true in their dealings. [salafipublications.com]
Must Read- By Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him]:
[Ref 1:An Excerpt From: Explanation of Important Lessons For The Muslim Ummah. page 52. Maktabah Malik Al-Fahad 1436AH. (2015)pages 53–56]
[Ref 2: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 6/510]
[Ref:3: Tafseer Surah Al-Baqarah 2/299]
[Ref 4: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 7/7]
[Ref 5: An Excerpt from Sharh Kitaab At-Tawheed. Lesson 4. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 6: Tafseer as-Sadi. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 7: Zaadul Maseer Fee Ilmit Tafseer’ By Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [may Allaah have mercy upon him]
[Ref 8: Al-Waabil as-Sayyib’ page: 21. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 9: Al-Fawaa-id al-Ilmiyyah Min ad-durar Al-Baaziyyah: page: 391-392; Vol: 4. Publisher: Daar Ar-Risaalah 1st ed 1430AH (Year 2009)]